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Secretary of State Rules In Favour Of Growers In Battle To Keep Bellfields Allotments

Published on: 26 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 1 Sep, 2020

Growers at the Old Farm Lagoon allotments in Bellfields will be delighted to hear they have won a battle to stop Guildford Borough Council moving their plots to a new site as part of the Weyside Urban Village development plan.

An aerial view of the Bellfields Old Farm Lagoon allotments. Click to enlarge in a new window.

On its website the Guildford Allotment Society (GAS) announced yesterday (August 25): “We are delighted to report that we at last have the Secretary of State’s response to Guildford Borough Council’s application to dispose of the Bellfields Allotment Sites.”

GAS quotes the Secretary of State’s response as: “The Secretary of State considers that the statutory criteria is not satisfied. Guildford Allotment Society (GAS), who manage the site, a third party and National Allotment Society (NAS) object to the disposal as it currently stands, raising concerns on the adequacy of the alternative provision. They are concerned that the alternatives are not entirely suitable in terms of access, safety of users, and the condition of the alternative provision. Therefore, the Secretary of State cannot be satisfied that adequate provision is in place for existing plot holders.”

However, GAS is warning that the decision is “not necessarily the end of the road” for the plot holders at Bellfields.

The statement on GAS’ website adds: “We do not yet know how GBC are going to respond. There is an appeal procedure which they may take up.”

It adds that GAS’ committee will be meeting to consider the implications of the letter from the Secretary of State and hope to meet with the borough council in the first week of September to “find the way forward”.

The Guildford Allotment Society manages 13 sites in and around Guildford in a partnership with Guildford Borough Council.

To make way for the eventual Weyside Urban Village development, Guildford Borough Council has offered the Bellfields plot-holders a new site further away at the end of the Slyfield Industrial Estate.

This is a breaking news story and its is expected Guildford Borough Council and local political parties will comment in due course.

Click here for previous stories: Bellfields Plot-holders Step Up Campaign To Save Their Allotments

Bellfields Allotment Holders’ Anger Over Surveyors’ Visit

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